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even oenogas­tro­nomic at­trac­tions.

How­ever, as with fel­low board mem­bers Costas Koumis and Xe­nia Loizidou, the Chair­man was con­fi­dent the sec­tor will re­cover and will not feel the im­pact so much from the demise of the rou­ble and the Rus­sian econ­omy.

Ac­knowled­ing that the Rus­sian mar­ket had re­cently risen to com­mand a 25% mar­ket share of all ar­rivals, Koumis said that Rus­sian hol­i­day­mak­ers to the rest of Europe had fallen by 50% due to the cri­sis in Ukraine and the econ­omy, but also due to the col­lapse of smaller tour op­er­a­tors.

“But in the case of Cyprus, this fall has been over­turned and we have a 4.5% in­crease (to 640,000) from 2013 fig­ures.”

Loizou also spoke of a new CTO, a new ef­fec­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion which will be­come more mod­ern and flex­i­ble by re­duc­ing bu­reau­cracy, sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of pro­ce­dures, mod­erni­sa­tion of the leg­isla­tive frame­work, ex­em­plary co­op­er­a­tion be­tween board and staff, and im­ple­ment­ing of good gov­er­nance.

He stressed that there will be “trans­par­ent, im­par­tial and full le­git­i­macy pro­ce­dures and full in­de­pen­dence.”

The new CTO, he said, will have ex­cel­lent co­op­er­a­tion with the Min­istry of Com­merce, the Min­istry of Fi­nance, the Au­di­tor Gen­eral and the Trea­sury for the pro­ce­dures to be fol­lowed. De­ci­sions on con­tracts will be taken by the Ten­ders Com­mit­tee and the In­ter­nal Au­dit Ser­vice.

“We are closely mon­i­tor­ing the rou­ble be­cause that is what will prob­a­bly de­ter­mine the out­come, which seems to have sta­bilised. The mes­sages we are re­ceiv­ing is that there will be some re­duc­tions from tour op­er­a­tors, but this seems to be at a level that we can han­dle”, he said.

The gaps from the re­duc­tion num­bers from the Rus­sian mar­ket will be be re­placed from the U.K., Is­rael, Ger­many, Poland, France, the Czech Repub­lic, cen­tral Europe, Scan­di­navia and Arab coun­tries.

Re­fer­ring to the Ger­man mar­ket, Loizou said he was con­fi­dent that with the adi­tion of flights op­er­ated by Ger­ma­nia and Ger­man­wings, the num­bers will be good.

There is also in­ter­est from France, he added, due to events in coun­tries such as Tu­nisia, Morocco, Egypt, with the French look­ing to Cyprus as a safe des­ti­na­tion.

The most en­cour­ag­ing, he said, is that although Cyprus de­pended on some coun­tries, this is chang­ing and other coun­tries are put on the spot­light such as Is­rael, Poland and the Arab coun­tries.

Based on the re­sults of the Pas­sen­gers Sur­vey, ar­rivals in Fe­bru­ary to­talled 50,709, com­pared with 45,227 in Fe­bru­ary 2014, while Jan­uary 2015 was also up 2.7%, yearon-year.

Tourist ar­rivals have been on an up­ward trend since last De­cem­ber af­ter a drop in Septem­ber, Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber, sug­gest­ing that there is a huge mar­ket for win­ter tourism.

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